Planning Proposal (Rezoning) Application - Cnr Hawke, Bowen & Currambene Streets, Huskisson

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

Council has received a proponent-initiated Planning Proposal request to rezone Lots 7 & 8 in DP 758530 at the corner of Hawke, Bowen & Currambene Streets, Huskisson from SP2 – Place of Public Worship to B4 – Mixed Use Business under the Shoalhaven LEP 2014. The purpose of the rezoning would be to enable a mixed use development comprising a residential apartment building, tourist and visitor accommodation (hotel and serviced apartments), and retail premises (including food and beverage). The proposal also seeks to increase the ‘maximum height of buildings’ control in the LEP from 10 m to 13 m and

Council has received a proponent-initiated Planning Proposal request to rezone Lots 7 & 8 in DP 758530 at the corner of Hawke, Bowen & Currambene Streets, Huskisson from SP2 – Place of Public Worship to B4 – Mixed Use Business under the Shoalhaven LEP 2014. The purpose of the rezoning would be to enable a mixed use development comprising a residential apartment building, tourist and visitor accommodation (hotel and serviced apartments), and retail premises (including food and beverage). The proposal also seeks to increase the ‘maximum height of buildings’ control in the LEP from 10 m to 13 m and the ‘incentive building height’ from 13 m to 16 m.

Related Information - Recent Development Application

It is understood that the land is being purchased by the proponent from the Anglican Church. A development application to demolish the church hall and shed and relocate the historic church was approved in June 2019 (DA18/2102). Documentation regarding the development application is available via the Planning Portal.

Visit Shoalhaven City Council's Planning Proposal (Rezoning) Guidelines to learn more.

  • Update on Rescission Motion and GPR Verification Works

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link
    supporting image

    Council recently considered a rescission motion in relation to a Council resolution of 25 May 2021 to undertake GPR (Ground-Penetrating Radar) verification works on the site.

    The rescission motion was lost. This means the Council resolution of 25 May 2021 (MIN21.303) is upheld. This resolution involves proceeding towards GPR verification work (shallow surface scraping) and continued communication with key stakeholders.

    However, permits from Heritage NSW are required before any works of this nature can be carried out. The permit assessment requirements will be clarified with Heritage NSW.

    Please note, no surface scraping works will occur on site without the relevant permit assessment processes first being followed.

    Further updates on this proposed step will be published on this webpage. Please keep visiting this page for updates or contact Council if you have any questions.

  • Recission motion lodged - Council to reconsider GPR verification work on 29 June 2021

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link
    supporting image

    A rescission motion has been lodged in relation to the resolution at Council’s Ordinary Meeting on 25 May 2021, to proceed with the Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) verification work at the Huskisson church site. The matter will be reconsidered at the Ordinary Meeting on 29 June 2021.

  • Clarification - Huskisson Church Planning Proposal

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link
    supporting image

    This statement has been prepared to clarify claims made in the media in relation to a Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) survey done as part of an overall heritage and archaeological assessment to inform a Planning Proposal (rezoning) for the former Anglican church site at Huskisson.

    In January 2020, Council resolved to support the planning proposal ‘in principle’ subject to completing a range of studies, including an assessment of the heritage significance of graves. The need for these studies was also reflected in the initial Gateway Determination issued by the NSW Government for the Planning Proposal. This determination also required the preparation of an Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Assessment.

    The heritage/archaeological assessment is being undertaken by an independent heritage consultant, Navin Officer Heritage Consultants Pty Ltd. As part of their investigation, Navin Officer commissioned a GPR survey from Hunter Geophysics to use as one line of enquiry into the possible location of graves.

    The independent assessment is considering the potential for a range of heritage values including both Aboriginal and historical (post-European settlement of the region). The following update has been provided by Navin Officer:

    o Evidence suggests that there are at least 4 graves dating to the historic period, spanning the period 1870s to 1930s and given this length of time, it is likely that there are other undocumented burials.

    o There is no evidence to support the existence of an Aboriginal pre-contact burial ground on this site. The clay soil profile across the site alone rules this possibility out. Aboriginal traditional burials are known to exist in several other parts of the Shoalhaven, including within and adjacent to Huskisson. These are invariably in sandy and /or soft silty soils. The burials of concern in relation to the former Huskisson Anglican church are European style burials of settler Australians, European sailors, and Aboriginal people.

    o The GPR survey is just one of several sources of evidence that needs to be analysed and considered and should be interrogated in the same way that all the other data from different sources is considered.

    o The nature of GPR technology is such that GPR surveys rarely provide conclusive information about unmarked graves especially in sites which have been subject to a range of uses and disturbances. They provide information on a range of subsurface anomalies which need to be considered and investigated. For example, these anomalies can be due to animal burrows, buried foundations and building debris, tree root disturbance including large, buried tree root balls from trees formerly on the site.

    o The current GPR survey looked at anomalies that might conform to dimensions of European graves and took into account the depth of disturbance as well. While the GPR report describes these as 'possible grave high confidence' and 'possible grave low confidence' this terminology can be misleading if taken out of context. Interpretation of the GPR results was based on how closely the anomalies match the criteria for European style burials. The GPR has provided a greater number of anomalies than are likely to be graves but has presented them for consideration in the assessment.

    o The archaeological assessment will consider the GPR data along with other evidence including old parish maps, photos, previous reports, newspaper articles and information provided by local museums and heritage associations.

    Some low impact surface testing (not excavation) has been recommended by Navin Officer to identify which and how many of the anomalies are graves. The aim of any such physical assessment, should it proceed, would be to identify the graves in situ and would not involve exhumation of or disturbance to the grave(s). A permit would be required under the NSW Heritage Act and any work would need to be done strictly in accordance with the conditions of the permit under the supervision of an archaeologist. A representative of the Aboriginal community would also be invited to attend.

    The GPR survey was also completed on the adjoining Lot 9 which is owned by the Jerrinja Local Aboriginal Land Council (the cost of which was met by Council) as agreed.

    Council’s Development and Environment Committee considered a report on this matter on 11 May 2021 and the Committee’s recommendation will be reconsidered at Council’s Ordinary Meeting on 25 May.

    Once all of the required supporting studies have been completed, the findings will be reported to Council. Should Council resolve to proceed to public exhibition, the full package of information (including technical studies) will be publicly exhibited. If the Planning Proposal is ultimately finalised and the land is rezoned, a development application could then be considered.

  • Update on Heritage Assessments, Including Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) Survey

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link
    supporting image

    Navin Officer Heritage Consultants (NOHC) are acting on Council’s behalf to complete the overall heritage assessment associated with the Planning Proposal (rezoning) for the former Anglican church site at Huskisson. NOHC provided the following update on 18 May 2021.

    Currently there is an archaeological assessment being undertaken of the former Anglican Church site. This assessment is considering the potential for a range of heritage values including both Aboriginal and historical (post-European settlement of the region). Evidence suggests that there are at least 4 graves dating to the historic period. These span the period 1870s to 1930s and given the length of this time period it is likely that there are other undocumented burials. There is no evidence to support the existence of an Aboriginal pre-contact burial ground on this site. The clay soil profile across the site alone rules this possibility out. Aboriginal traditional burials are known to exist in several other parts of the Shoalhaven, including within and adjacent to Huskisson. These are invariably in sandy and /or soft silty soils. The burials of concern in relation to the former Huskisson Anglican church are European style burials of settler Australians, European sailors, and Aboriginal people.

    The archaeological assessment is being undertaken by an independent heritage consultant- Navin Officer Heritage Consultants Pty Ltd. As part of their investigation, they commissioned a GPR survey from Hunter Geophysics to use as one line of enquiry into the possible location of graves. The nature of GPR technology is such that GPR surveys rarely provide conclusive information about unmarked graves especially in sites which have been subject to a range of uses and disturbances. They provide information on a range of subsurface anomalies which need to be considered and investigated. For example, these anomalies can be due to animal burrows, buried foundations and building debris, tree root disturbance including large, buried tree root balls from trees formerly on the site. The current GPR survey therefore looked at anomalies that might conform to dimensions of European graves and took into account the depth of disturbance as well. While the GPR report describes these as 'possible grave high confidence' and 'possible grave low confidence' this terminology can be misleading if taken out of context. What needs to be understood is that this relates to how closely the anomalies match the criteria that was used to sort them. The GPR has provided a greater number of anomalies than are likely to be graves but has presented them for consideration in the assessment. The evidence in no way supports a claim that all the anomalies identified are graves. For instance, some of the anomalies identified in this GPR survey are in the location of the former church hall and are most likely to be associated with footings, building debris or disturbance from the demolition of that building. At least one of the anomalies identified in a previous GPR survey coincides with a location that has been excavated and was demonstrated to be a burnt tree root ball.

    The archaeological assessment will consider the GPR data along with other evidence including old parish maps, photos, previous reports, newspaper articles and information provided by local museums and heritage associations. Some low impact surface testing is also being considered to identify which, if any, of the anomalies are graves. The aim of any such physical assessment, should it proceed, would be to identify the grave insitu and would not involve exhumation of or disturbance to the grave(s). In the assessment, the GPR is just one of several sources of evidence that needs to be analysed and considered and should be interrogated in the same way that all the other data from different sources is considered.

    The GPR Report has been added to the Document Library on this web page. A resolution by Council’s Development & Environment Committee on 11 May to undertake low impact surface scraping to verify the GPR results (referred to above) will be considered by Council’s Ordinary Meeting on Tuesday, 25 May 2021. Further updates will be provided in due course.

  • Report on Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) Survey - Results and Next Steps

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link
    supporting image

    A report on the outcomes of the Ground Penetrating Radar undertaken at the former Anglican church site at Huskisson, will be considered by Council’s Development and Environment Committee at its Tuesday 11 May 2021 meeting. The report is available on Council’s Agendas and Meetings web page.

    The purpose of the report is to:

    • Provide an update on the Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) survey that has been undertaken to support the Planning Proposal (PP) for the former Anglican Church site at Huskisson.
    • Advise that low impact excavation (i.e. shallow surface scrapes) has been recommended by Council’s heritage consultant to verify the GPR survey results and seek support to undertake this work.
    • Obtain endorsement to fund the verification work on Lot 9, which is owned by the Jerrinja Local Aboriginal Land Council (LALC), if the LALC is agreeable to the additional work being done but is not able to fund it. Lot 9 does not form part of the subject land for PP but was part of the GPR survey to enable an holistic review.

    COVID19 and attendance at Council meetings

    The meeting commences at 5.00pm and will be held in the Council Chambers at Council’s Administrative Building. Due to COVID-19 physical distancing requirements at this time, the Council Chambers have limited space available for the public. You can however view the meeting live on Council’s Stream a Council Meeting web page.

    Further information is available on Council's Deputations web page.

  • Independent Ground Penetrating Radar Survey Scheduled

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link
    supporting image


    One of the independent studies being undertaken to inform the Planning Proposal (rezoning) for the former Anglican Church site at Huskisson, is a combined Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Assessment (ACHA) / Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) survey/graves assessment. Council has commissioned Navin Officer Heritage Consultants (NOHC) to undertake this work. NOHC are subcontracting the GPR component to a Victorian-based firm, Hunter Geophysics, which has extensive experience in grave detection using GPR.

    GPR is a non-invasive technology that allows sub-surface soil anomalies to be detected without having to disturb the soil. It has a wide range of applications, including the detection of burial sites and graves. A patchwork of GPR surveys has been undertaken over parts of the former Anglican church site, resulting in the detection of several graves associated with the site’s history as a church. The purpose of the new GPR survey is to provide a more definitive picture of the number and location of the graves.

    The GPR survey is scheduled to be undertaken in the week commencing 13 December 202. It will apply best practice methodology in grave detection over the whole planning proposal site (Lots 7 and 8 (apart from where the buildings are located) as well as Lot 9 (owned by the Jerrinja Local Aboriginal Land Council) to provide a more complete understanding of the number and location of the graves on the site.

    To get the best results from the GPR survey, movable obstacles such as the shipping containers, mulch stockpiles, and fallen timber need to be removed, and closer to the date, the grass will be mowed. Council is liaising with the proponent and the Jerrinja LALC to ensure these site preparations are undertaken prior to the new GPR survey commences. It is also important that when Hunter Geophysics are on site that they are able to undertake and complete their work in a timely, unimpeded and independent manner.

    The community is requested to assist in this regard by not disturbing the GPR contractors when they are on site.

  • DPIE Determination Received - Planning Proposal to Progress

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link
    supporting image

    Council received a Gateway determination from the NSW Department of Planning, Industry & Environment (DPIE) on 4 May 2020, allowing the Planning Proposal for the former Anglican Church site at Huskisson (PP050) to progress subject to a range of conditions. DPIE’s determination can be viewed online on DPIE’s LEP Tracking website.

    Condition 2 requires the following studies to be completed prior to public exhibition:

    a. A new independent Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) survey over the entire site by a grave detection specialist using best practice methodology .

    b. An independent assessment, by an appropriately qualified historical archaeologist, to determine the status of the graves and if they are “relics” under the NSW Heritage Act 1977.

    c. A full Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Assessment Report, includes Aboriginal community consultation and archaeological survey.

    d. Independent peer reviews of:

    • the Feasibility Analysis prepared by Walsh and Monaghan, including a review of the feasibility with or without the proposed increase in height controls
    • the Urban Design Study prepared by SJB Urban.


    e. A “Stage 1 Preliminary Assessment” to determine the potential for contamination of the site.

    Council are commencing the process of commissioning the above studies. Before public exhibition can occur, the studies and updated version of the PP will be forwarded to DPIE and uploaded to DPIE’s LEP tracking site.

  • Planning Proposal - Additional Information Provided to the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link
    supporting image

    NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (DPIE) is currently reviewing the Planning Proposal that Council submitted in February 2020 for the former Anglican church site at Huskisson.

    DPIE requested some additional information from Council relating to strategic planning issues to assist their assessment.

    This additional information has been provided to DPIE in a revised Planning Proposal document, which DPIE has added to their online LEP tracking system.

  • Planning Proposal Submitted to the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link
    supporting image

    Following Council’s decision, on 20 January 2020 (MIN20.17), to support ‘in principle’ the proposed rezoning of the former Huskisson church site (Lots 7 and 8, Section 3, DP 758530 - No. 17 Hawke Street and No. 22 Currambene Street) a Planning Proposal (PP050) was submitted to the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (DPIE) for gateway determination.

    The PP and supporting documentation can be viewed on DPIE’sLEP tracking system. An update will be provided once Council receives DPIE’s ‘gateway determination’.

    Further information on the planning proposal (rezoning) process is available on Council's Planning Proposal (Rezoning) Guidelines and DPIE's A Guide to preparing planning proposals websites.

  • Council decision to progress Planning Proposal to rezone the former Huskisson Church Site

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link
    supporting image

    Council’s Development and Environment Committee meeting on 20 January 2020, resolved under delegation that Council:

    1. Support ‘in principle’ the proposed rezoning of Lots 7 and 8, Section 3, DP 758530 - 17 Hawke Street and 22 Currambene Street, Huskisson from SP2 – Place of Public Worship to B4 – Mixed Use Business under the Shoalhaven LEP 2014. This also extends the proposed B4 zoning to include the adjacent section of Hawke Street that is currently zoned SP2 – Road.

    2. Support ‘in principle’ the proponent’s proposed increase in the height controls to Lot 7 Section 3, DP 758530 (No. 17 Hawke Street).

    3. Submit a Planning Proposal to the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (DPIE) for Gateway determination that is in accordance with parts 1 and 2.

    4. Subject to a favourable Gateway determination, undertake the following assessments:
    a. A new independent Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) survey over the entire site by a grave detection specialist using best practice methodology.
    b. Independent research into the graves and whether they are ‘relics’ under the NSW Heritage Act.
    c. Consultation with Heritage NSW, the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment, the Jerrinja Local Aboriginal Land Council and Council’s Aboriginal Advisory Committee to seek clarification on the legal status of the graves with regard to the NSW Heritage Act.
    d. Continued consultation with the Jerrinja Local Aboriginal Land Council and Council’s Aboriginal Advisory Committee as required/appropriate.
    e. Independent peer reviews of the proponent’s urban design strategy and feasibility assessment.

    5. Upon completion of the above assessments and considerations, report the findings to Council to confirm the details of Planning Proposal. Immediately upon gateway determination, subject to the completion of any reports required by the gateway determination, the Planning Proposal is to be placed on public exhibition.

    6. Amend Shoalhaven Development Control Plan 2014, Chapter N18 - Huskisson Town Centre, as required, in conjunction with the Planning Proposal process.

    7. Note the required reviews/assessments are to be funded by the proponent in accordance with Council’s Planning Proposal Guidelines.

    8. Advise the proponent, Consultative Community Bodies and submitters of this decision.

    Next steps

    Staff will prepare the PP (PP050) in accordance with parts 1-3 of the above resolution (MIN20.17) and submit it to NSW Department Planning, Industry and Environment (DPIE) with a request for Gateway determination.

    An update will be posted on this page once the PP has been uploaded by DPIE onto their LEP Tracking System. Parts 4-7 of MIN20.17 will be implemented subject to a favourable Gateway determination by DPIE. Note that part 5 of MIN20.17 requires a further report to Council once the necessary studies have been completed, to confirm the details of the PP.

    Formal community engagement will be undertaken once any ‘pre-exhibition’ requirements have been satisfied; including the necessary studies.